BY: CAITLYN JENKINS
For anyone that doesn’t know, Cage The Elephant is my favorite band. That’s why right after seeing them for my second time at Bonnaroo, I started searching for my next opportunity to see them live again. I knew they weren’t coming to Georgia, but I figured I could find something nearby that was do-able. That’s when I came across the TenSixtyFive street party which was perfect because of its location in Mobile, Alabama (a 5-hour drive) and the cost, which was FREE.
Imagine the excitement I felt realizing I could see my favorite band perform live without even spending money on a ticket, especially with the band’s growing fame. It was also the weekend after my birthday, which made it even better. I decided right away I would go, and go early at that, and wait to be as close as possible.
Before attending, I had never heard anything about this “street party” before, but I assumed it would be similar to a small festival. It was a little different though. The main stage, which CTE would be performing on, was literally in the middle of the road. There was no grass to wait comfortably on and it was a tight squeeze. It wasn’t all that bad though because there were restaurants nearby and there weren’t nearly as many people waiting for the band as I had expected. The two smaller stages were very small but more conveniently located in a grassy square area downtown, though I was at the Jake Peavy foundation stage the whole day.
I arrived to wait for Cage The Elephant seven hours early and got a spot on the barricade. I had never before been that close to see them and I was determined not to let anything ruin it, not even the rain, which appeared heavily before Judah and the Lion, who were the pre-cursors to Cage. It was freezing and every inch of me was soaking, but I wasn’t going to leave without seeing them perform. It eventually lightened up and left the audience with only a 30-minute delay, which in retrospect wasn’t as bad as it seemed when I was standing there waiting, freezing.
Finally, around nine, Cage The Elephant came on. It started raining again but knowing Matt Shultz’s attitude I had a feeling the show wouldn’t stop. It ended up raining the whole time, but it just added to the already unmatchable energy that the band gives with every single performance. I’ve been lucky enough to see the band two previous times, but nothing compares to this one.
They started with “Cry Baby” and sang many other songs from their fourth album, Tell Me I’m Pretty, including “Mess Around,” “Too Late To Say Goodbye,” and “Cold Cold Cold.” Of course, they also sang the fan favorites “Cigarette Daydreams,” “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked,” and “Come a Little Closer.” My favorite songs of the night were “Shake Me Down,” “Spiderhead,” “In One Ear,” and “Whole Wide World.” I wasn’t expecting them to sing any covers from their latest stripped-down album, Unpeeled, but when I realized that’s exactly what they were doing I freaked out. Another favorite moment of mine was when guitarist Brad Shultz came down right in front of the barricade where I was standing. (video below shows this if you can deal with the screaming)
This concert was everything I could’ve asked for from my favorite band. If you’ve never seen Cage live, you should. Even just looking at pictures can give you an idea of how much this band puts into every single show. Matt Shultz is a true rockstar, and you can feel it in every song. It’s hard to put into words just how amazing it feels to be front row for your favorite band rocking out in the pouring rain, but my sore neck and soaked shoes can vouch for me.
I’ve been to too many shows to keep track, but I say I’ve probably seen anywhere from 70-100 bands perform. Out of every single one of them, Cage The Elephant has been the best, and out of all three times I’ve seen them, this show was my favorite. From the rain to Matt Shultz’s poetic words in between songs, every moment of the show was perfect. Walking away I couldn’t even complain about how sore I was or how soaked I got because I was too happy about what I just experienced. As I’m writing this it’s been two days since I’ve seen them, but I’m already ready for the next tour to be announced.
I tried to get a video of “In One Ear,” especially since it’s sort of an anthem of mine and the reason for the name of this site, but the rain and my excitement make my video less than HQ. if you still want to watch it for fun, I’m posting it below, but in the moment it was too hard to focus on getting a good video. Like I said, I TRIED but did not succeed.